In our next interview series, we're honoured to chat to the wonderful participants in our Charles Sturt Indigenous Entrepreneur Program about their ideas, the work they're doing and the future of First Nations representation in food and agriculture. We're privileged to support them over the course of the four month program, and we can't wait to keep you updated on their journey.
Introducing Bush to Bowl, a social enterprise aimed at creating a healing space and platform for First Nations People by connecting to Country and their traditional foodways. We spoke to team member Ajay about the fantastic work that they're doing.
Food Futures: Hi Ajay! Can you tell us about Bush to Bowl and what your offering is?
Ajay: Bush to Bowl is a 100% Aboriginal owned business, owned by Clarence Bruinsma and Adam Byrne. Bush to Bowl is about bushfoods and giving back to Country, providing produce and bushfoods for everyone.
Food Futures: What inspired the inception of Bush to Bowl?
Ajay: Adam and Clarence started off as really good mates. Adam was a landscaper and designer for yarning circles and gardens, and it started off as an idea between the two of them. They started building around their landscaping and slowly worked this into a nursery and produce for wholesale.
Food Futures: Speaking of the nursery, we hear it's a very exciting time with its launch?
Ajay: We've officially launched our new nursery site - moving from four hundred square metres to just under four thousand square metres. This has been a big move over the last few weeks. We've worked long hours to make it happen! At the launch, we had smoked meat (kangaroo, crocodile, native food infused pulled pork by a local Aboriginal person who specialises in smoked meat), art workshops for kids, adult workshops on produce and how to implement bushfoods into your diet and pass down knowledge about most common bushfoods. Throughout the day, we also had a section for local artists from all over NSW with paintings, didgeridoos for sale and clapsticks to support other communities. We also had planting workshops with information around bushfoods and produce taste testings.
Food Futures: Sounds fantastic. So what are some of the long term goals for Bush to Bowl and what do you hope to achieve?
Ajay: We're hoping to have more native foods in mainstream diets. Bushfoods are a superfood and we believe it's a much healthier diet and is about connecting to Australia and our mother Earth underneath us. We also pride ourselves on connecting to communities and helping communities with bushfoods and gardens. So for example, we have an outreach program (our Connecting to Country program) and we're working with some remote, local communities and preschools and primary schools to build bush tucker gardens. It's not just a garden - we're teaching how to use and prepare the food and bring that significance with it.
Food Futures: What are your hopes for the future of First Nations representation in food and agriculture?
Ajay: We'd like to see First Nations representation in mainstream shopping and grocery stores. We'd also like to see it in more communities far and wide, and to see more Aboriginal people in this space - it's a very big space and there's room for everybody, especially in relation to wild harvesting and the collection of traditional foods.
Access to food and land is also important - having access to land to be able to propagate and harvest. It's also important to have a clearer view about what Aboriginal people can do in bushfood too. Overall, Bush to Bowl's future is to bring people together.
Stay tuned for our upcoming interviews with the Charles Sturt Indigenous Entrepreneur Program participants and subscribe to our newsletter to keep updated on all things Food Futures Company.